Friday, February 19, 2010

MOVIE REVIEW: The Princess and the Frog

Number of Nominations: 3 (Best Animated Feature, Best Original Song - "Almost There," Best Original Song - "Down in New Orleans")
Availability in the US: In Theatres (Check Showtimes)

Disney attempts a return to its 2-D animation heyday with the fun, entertaining The Princess and the Frog. Everyone knows the story of The Frog Prince, or at least they think they do. Disney takes a fractured view of this classic fairy-tale, setting their adaptation of The Brothers Grimm classic in jazz-era New Orleans.

Annika Noni-Rose shines as Tiana, Disney's first black princess. The animation is rich and colorful. The beautiful scenery complements a fairly good plot, though at times the storyline does feel a bit thin. Randy Newman's songs, two of which are nominated, are fun and bouncy—as all his songs for Disney have been—but they don't quite measure up to the Menken/Ashman or John/Rice classics.

Though The Princess and the Frog was thoroughly entertaining, it is at a severe disadvantage at the Oscars. Up is the odds-on favorite to win Best Animated Feature, and having 2 competing nominees to split the film's support for Best Original Song just increases the chance that "The Weary Kind (The Theme From Crazy Heart)" will win in that category.

Still, if you've yet to see this worthy addition to the Disney line, it's worth watching.

Grade: A-

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